Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar and Joss Whedon‘s relationship may have been more strained than it appeared, insiders say.
Among other rattling allegations, two sources told Variety that Gellar, who played the perky and sharp-tongued vampire slayer Buffy Summers, had a “severed relationship with Whedon” during the show’s earlier seasons.
Tensions reportedly flared to such a degree on the set of The WB show that the actor did not want the show runner’s name spoken around her. Making things, the publication described, “awkward”.
The sources familiar with the production of Buffy, which ran from 1997 to 2003, came forward with the claim amid a reckoning of sorts for Whedon.
Since series star Charisma Carpenter came forward with various explosive allegations against Whedon earlier this year, such as him “abusing his power” on set, various castmembers and off-camera staff have spoken out.
When Carpenter, who played the air-headed but whip-smart debutante Cordelia Chase in both Buffy and spin-off Angel, went public with her accusations, Gellar quickly threw her support while also distancing herself from the producer.
In a statement published on social media at the time, Gellar wrote: “While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon.
“I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so will not be making further comments at this time.”
Gellar, 43, has been married to actor Freddie Prinze Jr since 2002, raising kids Charlotte Grace Prinze, 11, and Rocky James Prinze, eight, together in California.
Watch: Sarah Michelle Gellar reveals why she won’t star in a ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ reboot
“But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out,” Gellar stressed.
The actor has not spoken out since about the allegations, other than addressing the Buffy reboot in the pipeline which Whedon is set to be executive producer of.
Buffy staffers ‘feared and idolised’ Joss Whedon, sources say
Eleven insiders who worked on both or either Buffy or Angel described to Variety how Joss Whedon allegedly had a troubling track record of workplace misconduct.
The publication said that many of the sources described the “set as operating like high school”, with the writer-director deciding “who was in and who was out”. He could be “sharp-tongued”, one source said, and was “both feared and idolised”.
Carpenter claimed that Whedon made disparaging comments against her when she was four months pregnant before “unceremoniously firing her” when she gave birth.
One of the staffers, who worked closely with the actor, echoed Carpenter’s claim, saying what she suffered was “very, very bad, mean-spirited, and verbal abuse”.
Sources also waded into allegations from Michelle Trachtenberg that she and Whedon were not allowed in the same room alone together.
Indeed, there was “an effort was made by those around Trachtenberg to ensure the young actor was never alone with Whedon”, one source explained. The “rule” came to head following an improper verbal exchange between the pair, it was claimed.
Joss Whedon has yet to respond publicly to the allegations.
PinkNews reached out to Joss Whedon for comment.
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